Phillies power rankings roundup: Treading water four weeks in
After a hot start to the season, the Phillies are treading water in the standings, which is reflecting in their power rankings.
The Phillies started the season hot sweeping the Braves and were 7-2 after their April 2 win against the Nationals in Bryce Harper‘s return to Washington. Since then, they are 5-7 but still hold a one-game lead in the division with a 12-9 record.
The last week had its highs and lows as the team took a much-needed series win over the second place Mets but lost three out of four to the Rockies in Colorado.
As Philadelphia treads water in the standings, so too do they in various power rankings. Here is how they stacked up in multiple power rankings and how their ranking changed compared to the last week:
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"CBS Sports: 7 (-3)Bleacher Report: 4 (-1)Call to the Pen: 9 (–)Yahoo! Sports: 6 (–)USA Today: T-5 (+1)MLB.com: 4 (–)ESPN: 5 (+4)"
Out of the seven rankings surveyed, only two had notable shifts in either direction. For the most part, the Phillies remain where they were after finishing the week 3-4.
A principal cause for concern from multiple writers was Aaron Nola. He was okay but by no means spectacular in his 5.2-inning, three-run outing Saturday night. His 6.84 ERA and 4.3 walks per nine innings are a stark contrast from his Cy Young-caliber 2018 season. If his struggles continue as the season progresses, more concern will emerge.
On the bright side for the rotation, ESPN notes the success Jake Arrieta has had this season. In just four starts he already has 1.5 pitching wins above replacement, second-most in the National League. While his early success may be gilded, he has been the only consistent starter on the team this year.
Alyson Footer of MLB.com pointed towards the success of the bullpen in the last week, citing its 2.16 ERA in the last eight games. She specifically noted Hector Neris‘ performance, including a five-out save in Saturday’s win. He certainly looks far removed from his early-season struggles last year, posting a 1.86 ERA, 2.26 fielding-independent pitching, 0.621 WHIP, and 7.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 10 appearances.
Gabe Lacques of USA Today also noted how the team has four different players with an OPS above .900: Andrew McCutchen, Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, and Maikel Franco.